“A thrilling adventure story, gripping history, and fascinating study of the Scottish character” from the author of Treasure Island (The Guardian, “The 100 Best Novels”).
Just as newly orphaned David Balfour discovers his scheming uncle is trying to steal his inheritance, he’s kidnapped by a sea captain with plans to sell him into slavery in the Carolinas. Before long, the ship is hampered by strong winds and rough seas, throwing David together with Alan Breck Stewart, a roguish Jacobite with a score to settle. Surviving shipwreck, assassins, and subterfuge forges their friendship, uniting the two young men on a rip-roaring journey that will take them across the Scottish highlands.
“Kidnapped is [Robert Louis Stevenson’s] masterpiece, an unforgettable novel of action that would inspire writers as varied as Joseph Conrad, John Buchan, Graham Greene and Muriel Spark. . . . An astounding action adventure in which Stevenson’s command of narrative, prose that’s pared to the bone, is never less than enthralling.” —The Guardian, “The 100 Best Novels”
“One of the great pleasures of reconsidering Stevenson was rereading Kidnapped. I came back to it hesitantly, nervously, expecting to take my seven-year-old self to task, and found from the beautiful, stately opening pages, wherein David Balfour leaves his home for the last time, that I was captivated. Alan Breck remains a wonderfully jaunty character, and I was struck afresh by Stevenson’s gift for describing landscapes that both shape and reveal the actions of the characters.” —The Atlantic
In 1751, after the untimely deaths of his parents, Scotsman David Balfour, the 17-year-old protagonist and narrator of Stevenson's classic adventure yarn, travels to his father's childhood home to meet with his uncle, Ebenezer. Instead of a warm welcome, Ebenezer pays the captain of a pirate ship to kidnap his nephew and transport him to America. On board, David meets dashing Highlander Alan Breck Stewart, and together they manage to take over the ship, beginning a friendship that continues through several land-based adventures. One of these involves witness (and escaping blame for) a murder. Scottish actor Rintoul does an amazing job of delivering a bouquet of brogues including David's mild-mannered narration, his uncle's croaky, angry snarl, and Alan Stewart's almost musical, supremely confident pronouncements.